Magazine article The New American

Self-Defense in the District

Magazine article The New American

Self-Defense in the District

Article excerpt

ITEM: The Boston Phoenix for June 24-30 expressed concern that U.S. senators "want to pack heat in [the] capital," and poked fun at Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) because she "can't even keep a .357Magnum in her house." For 12 years, chided the Phoenix, she "has managed to abide this without complaint, but apparently she's had enough. In May, she filed a bill to overturn DC's gun-control laws, and this week she indicated that she has more than 30 co-sponsors and intends to push it to the floor for a vote in the near future. The bill would, in one swoop, negate all the gun laws the district has adopted over the past 30 years, including pre-purchase criminal-background checks and bans on semi-automatic weapons and cop-killer bullets."

Continued the Phoenix report: "'One would hope that the Congress would have better things to worry about than flooding the nation's capital with guns,' says Sean Tenner, chairman of DC for Democracy, which lobbies" for DC-statehood rights. 'But I've been wrong before.'"

CORRECTION: This account is trying to muddy the issue of the self-protection rights of District citizens by sneering at federal legislators who want to "pack heat." However, the real point is not about weapons for members of Congress. As noted last year by John R. Lott, Jr., a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute: "It is one of the benefits of being a politician. While handguns are banned for citizens in Washington, D.C., congressmen are allowed to have a gun for self-protection on the Capitol grounds. Liberal politicians such as Senators Chuck Schumer and Ted Kennedy have armed bodyguards."

Of course, there are already plenty of handguns in D.C. The criminals have them, while the law-abiding citizenry has been effectively disarmed. Because of the draconian laws in the District, it is a felony for Washingtonians to own a handgun. …

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